He’s worn many hats and many titles, but the Eagles are still really lucky to have Duce Staley to help with game planning and leading the running back room. He spoke to the media on Friday morning about the potential of some of his guys, why he’s happy with his role in Philadelphia, and about staying healthy in a pandemic.
On Miles Sanders
“I’m excited abut Miles, I’m excited about him handling the full load. I don’t see Miles as a guy you have to monitor his touches. You put him in and you let him go.”
Duce explained that Sanders is the kind of guy who is hard to get a hand on and make people miss, so he’s able to take on more of a workload and handle it.
Plus, he got to learn the run and passing game last season, and “you saw a kid get better every week.” Coming into camp is tough for rookies, they don’t know what to expect, so for Sanders to be able to get all that out of the way and be successful in 2019, Staley was happy.
Staley said that usually you have OTAs to try and prepare and prevent a second-year slump, but they didn’t get that chance this spring. The good news, preparation is something that Sanders does really well, and he’s a student of the game and wants to get better. There are going to be some ups and downs, but that builds character.
On Boston Scott
Staley was quick to admit that he was NOT surprised at all by Scott’s emergence last season. He quipped that they called him “Little big man” because he’s small, but runs big, and has a quick twitch and make people miss, or actually run past them.
They saw all Scott’s potential in practice, and were able to put him in one-on-one situations and got to see him improve in the run game — learning when to be slow, when to be fast, and he capitalized on that.
On lack of veteran RB
“I have a hell of a room.”
Staley is not worried about the guys in his running back room. He’s got a bunch of young players who can play and play fast, and they work their asses off. Of course, he noted, they’re young, but they have Miles Sanders and Boston Scott who have a ton of playing time and experience.
Corey Clement “looks great by the way”, Staley pointed out.
He went on to say that the RB has his ears pinned back, he’s ready, and he looks awesome. Clement plays with a lot of energy, and practices that way also — he brought that energy to the offense when he was healthy and is excited to be back.
On the rookies running backs
Adrian Killens — If you go back and watch the highlight film, he’s explosive. You go back and look at some of his long runs, he proved that even though he’s small, he’s special. Some of the things he did at Central Florida were really special.
Michael Warren — Staley went back a year ago and had a chance to study the kid, and even though he might be a little bigger than some of the other backs on the roster, his feet are maybe nicer than some of the guys they have. So, he might look like a “bowling ball” running over defenses, but he can also make people miss.
On the Rooney Rule and coach hiring process
Staley said that he doesn’t know the best way for the NFL to have more diversity at the coaching level, but thinks the most important thing is having the conversations and getting to a starting point to make meaningful changes.
He was also asked directly if he was disappoint not to get the offensive coordinator title after Mike Groh was dismissed.
“Not disappointed at all. Don’t feel overlooked.”
He explained that it’s a little different with the Eagles, and that they all get a chance to game plan. All the coaches go into a room and have input and game plan together, so they all get an opportunity.
Later on down the road he’ll look to advance in his career, and to be an Offensive Coordinator, but right now hes “super happy” and “proud” of his role in Philadelphia.
On COVID precautions
They know they have to be careful, and they’re always talking and reminding each other how serious the situation is and how to be safe.
“This is a different time for us. This is different. And as a team we have to make the adjustments to be successful.”
Staley said that the entire organization as a whole has put together a great plan for them while they’re in the building, and they feel “100% safe in the building”.